How To Use Juniper Berries in Herbal Medicine

ReadyNutrition Readers, we are going to expound on some of the merits of Juniper berries, from the plant Juniperus communis.  They aren’t actually a “berry,” but are a part of a cone in the Juniper plant.  The berries are used to make gin: that is, alcohol such as grain is infused with juniper berries and leaves and then redistilled to add the flavor of the plant, thus creating the gin.

The Juniper berry is also used in herbal medicine.  Juniper is used as a diuretic, and to treat menstrual problems and bladder infections/UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections).

Juniper in Herbal Medicine

The dosage of Juniper Berries is 2 to 10 grams of the berries, or between 20 to 100 mg of the essential oil.  The berries and twigs can also be used for a tea, but be careful to consume no more than 2 cups of it.  Also, if you’ve never had it before, you should take in a small amount, in case you’re hypersensitive/allergic to it.  Pregnant women and anyone prescribed for Lithium need to avoid consumption of Juniper berries, as well as those with kidney problems.  Also, do not allow Juniper berries to be used on open wounds.

They are green when they are immature and dark/purple upon being mature and ripe.  It is in this latter state they are safe to use.  Juniper berries are used to flavor Norwegian, Swedish, German, Austrian, Polish, and Czech dishes, such as different sauerkraut, roasts, and game meatsJuniperus sabina is a type that grows in central and southern Europe, as well as in Asia.  All parts of this subspecies are poisonous.

There, as you can see by the photo above are the berries turning color from green to purple.  Here’s another photo that shows the plant (the Juniper bush) with the berries turning to purple:

Juniper berry oil is a strong antioxidant.  In order to make essential oils of it, you need to distill the oil from it.  Pinene (technically Alpha-Pinene) from the berry is not only an antioxidant, but you can make bug repellant from it.  That’s right!  It is highly repellant to insects.

How To Make a Juniper Infusion

To make a tea (infusion), you can crush 1 teaspoon of berries and add this to 1 cup of boiled water after taking it off boil and sitting for 1 minute.  They can also be used in compresses to treat gout, as well as being used to reduce warts.  Consult with your physician before undertaking any information in this article.  Juniper berries will be ready when they are purple.  They are strong to the taste, but there are a lot of things that can be done with them.  Happy gathering!  JJ out!


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Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published September 9th, 2017
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